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FRA Today - December 2010


A View from the Bridge 3

shipmate forum 4

On & OFF Capitol HILL 6

FRA’s 2011 Legislative agenda 11

membership matters 14

Member Benefits 15

Feature: USMC in black and white: the story of the montford point marines 17

FRA convention awards 22

News from the Branches 26

Reunions 28

Looking For … 30

taps 31

History & heritage 36

Auxiliary of the FRA NEWS 37


Employing Retail Strategies to Increase Retention

A common retail strategy focuses on increasing shopper loyalty by giving a discount for a future visit or holding a special event for long-time customers. Retail businesses understand that it is less expensive to do extra things for current customers than it is to advertise to get new ones. Of course, businesses have to increase the new customer pool as well, but having a loyal base makes that even easier as word of mouth is the best referral generator.

Member-based associations are faced with the same issues. Member recruiting is far easier in an organization that has a loyal member base. Why? Momentum has a lot to do with it. When members are excited about their organization, they are more likely to pay dues on time and recruit others. As a non-profit membership organization, FRA can not implement typical retail strategies, but some of the same concepts are certainly employed.

For example, FRA membership not only includes representation on Capitol Hill to make sure Congress hears the voice of the enlisted sea service personnel, but also includes:

  • Access to subject experts for veterans’ issues and DoD and VA health care concerns

  • A complimentary subscription to FRA Today, so you can keep up with the latest news and events

  • NewsBytes — a free, weekly legislative e-mail update to let shipmates and families know about important issues (also available by phone at 1-800-372-1924, ext 112)

  • Free guides like “Your Personal Affairs” to help organize personal finances and “Communicate With Your Elected Officials,” a guide to contacting members of Congress — available to members on request

  • Scholarships offered through the FRA Education Foundation

  • GEICO insurance discounts

  • Life and health insurance programs at affordable group rates

That is certainly a lot of benefit for a mere $30 per year. That rate is discounted as well for multiple-year memberships, increasing members’ return on investment even more!

The biggest jump in value of membership comes as the Association grows — the bigger we are, the louder your voice is heard on Capitol Hill. If you are interested in getting even more value from your FRA membership, please A) Continue to pay your dues; and B) Recruit your friends to join the Association. In this issue you’ll read about branches who are doing their best to retain 100 percent of their members. You will learn of branches doubling in size. There are many opportunities for growth — let’s make 2011 the best retention year yet and the growth will follow!

Eileen Murphy is the Director of Marketing and Communications and serves as the Managing Editor of FRA Today. Please contact her at
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A View from the Bridge

By Jim Scarbro

It is my honor to serve in the office of National President of the Fleet Reserve Association for 2010/2011 Association year. I thank the shipmates for the confidence they have placed in me. This inspires me to do all I can to improve our declining membership and to initiate actions that will curb the loss of dues income. With the National Board of Directors, National Headquarters Staff and all shipmates working together to address our issues, we can ensure that the FRA is a viable and strong Association into the future.

The recently completed 83rd National Convention of the Fleet Reserve Association was a huge success and attended by a large number of shipmates from all regions. These dedicated members have worked tirelessly for many years to improve military and retiree compensation, health care benefits and quality-of-life programs for active duty and Reserve personnel, retirees and veterans. Now we must recruit younger members who will provide new ideas, set additional goals and continue the vital mission of FRA. The members we recruit today must become our leaders of tomorrow and protect the rights and benefits of future sea service personnel.

The convention workshops arranged and presented by our National Headquarters Staff were very informative, well attended, and received many favorable comments by the attendees. In addition to providing valuable information, the topics inspired additional recruiting actions.

My goal is to promote and market the FRA in order for our mission and objectives to be known and understood by non-members. Focusing on non-members by being more involved with the commands, and expand recruiting programs service-wide will increase our visibility. As National Headquarters markets new FRA membership programs, it will be the responsibility of the respective regional presidents and vice presidents to promote these programs throughout their regions.

Each regional president will share their successful recruiting and retention programs with all other regional presidents and vice presidents. They will assist branches within their region with recruiting and retention. Regional presidents will become involved in award presentations with the assistance of the national president and national vice president, when possible. Other past national officers that reside in specific areas should be invited to attend and participate. Working together, we can efficiently utilize FRA resources.

I am currently assisting shipmates in the East Coast Region, Southeast Region, and South Central Region in establishing and instituting new FRA Branches. I invite all FRA shipmates to assist in these endeavors.

I will also promote the recruiting of eligible members of the Auxiliary of the Fleet Reserve Association. This organization involves family members in community projects, patriotic programs, youth activities and provides a place to learn and share the values of the military community. I will assist in increasing our overall membership numbers, which is vital to those we want to hear our voice and listen to our input.

Working with the National Committee on Budget and Finance and our National Headquarters Staff, it is my goal to reduce spending and continue to improve the financial stability of the FRA. We will strive to use FRA funds more wisely and reduce expenses in some areas.

To improve communications to the membership, I encourage branch leadership to use electronic transmission of FRA news and send notices and other information by this method to keep all of the members informed of branch activities and information made available by FRA Headquarters.

I have listened to the members and heard their concerns. I am willing to initiate changes and address your concerns.

Again, I thank you for electing me as your national president and know, with your assistance, we will have a productive year.
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shipmate forum


The article on CVN-78 [FRA Today, October 2010] was very well written. Having spent considerable time under the vents in the firerooms of the USS Interpid and Tarawa (CV-11 & CV-40), it is good that the new class makes accommodation toward people’s comfort.

I spent a recent weekend at NAS Corpus Christi to see my grandson receive his wings. While there, I went aboard the USS Lexington (CV-16, of the Essex class) and your article brought home how much has changed with current technology. The contrast between the new and old is amazing.

Grady Field

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